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Knowledge spillovers and the new economy of cities

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  • Gerald A. Carlino
  • Satyajit Chatterjee
  • Robert Hunt

Abstract

Despite much theorizing about the role of geographic concentration of employment in knowledge spillovers, local densities' role in promoting innovations has largely been unexamined. More often, studies have considered the effects of city size variables on innovative activity, although the role of scale was not the main focus of these studies. This paper considers the role of knowledge spillovers on innovations at the MSA level. The authors use patents per capita in an MSA as our measure of innovations in that MSA. They find that the rate of patenting is positively related to the employment density of the highly urbanized portion of an MSA (its urbanized area). Specifically, the authors find, on average, that rate of patenting is 20 percent to 30 percent greater in an MSA with a local economy that is twice as dense as the local economy of another MSA. Since local employment density doubles more than four times in the sample, the implied gains in patents per capita due to urban density are substantial. Thus, these findings confirm the widely held view that the nation’s densest locations play an important role in creating the flow of ideas that generates innovation and growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 01-14.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:01-14

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Keywords: Patents ; Urban economics;

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References

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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  2. Robert M. Hunt, 2001. "You can patent that? Are patents on computer programs and business methods good for the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 5-15.
  3. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  4. Feldman, Maryann P. & Audretsch, David B., 1999. "Innovation in cities:: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 409-429, February.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  8. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  9. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  10. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  11. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
  12. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christophe CARRINCAZEAUX (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Frédéric GASCHET (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "Knowledge and diversity of innovation systems: a comparative analysis of European regions," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-06, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  2. Gerald Carlino & Satyajit Chatterjee & Robert Hunt, 2006. "Urban density and the rate of invention," Working Papers 06-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Lobo, José & Strumsky, Deborah, 2008. "Metropolitan patenting, inventor agglomeration and social networks: A tale of two effects," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 871-884, May.
  4. Claude LACOUR (GREThA-GRES) & Sylvette PUISSANT (GREThA-GRES), 2008. "Medium-Sized Cities and the Dynamics of Creative Services," Cahiers du GRES 2008-07, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
  5. Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2011. "Upstream innovation protection: common law evolution and the dynamics of wage inequality," MPRA Paper 31902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2008. "Mountains in a flat world: why proximity still matters for the location of economic activity," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(3), pages 371-388.
  7. Erica L. Groshen & Simon Potter & Rebecca J. Sela, 2004. "Economic restructuring in New York State," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 10(Jun).
  8. Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2013. "Sequential R&D and Blocking Patents in the Dynamics of Growth," Economics Working Paper Series 1305, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. M. Bellinzas, 2004. "Dinamiche demografiche, agglomerazione e determinanti economiche. Il caso italiano," Working Paper CRENoS 200407, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  11. Carolina Pasciaroni, 2013. "Ciudades de tamaño medio e innovacion: Una aproximacion sistemica," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 011078, UNIVERSIDAD TECNOLÓGICA DE BOLÍVAR.
  12. Christophe CARRINCAZEAUX (E3I-IFReDE-GRES) & Frédéric GASCHET (IERSO-IFReDE-GRES), 2006. "Knowledge and the diversity of innovation systems: a comparative analysis of European regions," Cahiers du GRES 2006-29, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
  13. Satyajit Chatterjee, 2003. "Agglomeration economies: the spark that ignites a city?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q4, pages 6-13.

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